A review of challenges and opportunities in China’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market

27 July 2016

The domestic SBR market suffered from aggravated oversupply in the previous year. As the largest derivative of SBR, the downstream tyre industry was bearish with prices plunging in the year because the domestic vehicle market development confronted with the bottleneck and the US and other countries took a series of protectionist policies.

In addition, the weak crude oil and macro-economy, as well as the sluggish NR market, cast a cloud on the SBR market.

A review of challenges and opportunities in China’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) marke

Thus, domestic SBR prices moved down and hit new lows since late December 2008. The price range narrowed further, especially in the second half of 2015. For example, the prices of non-oil grade SBR 1502 in east China were in the range of CNY8,550-10,900/tonne EXWH in the year, with the gap between the high and the low end not higher than CNY2,350/tonne.

Amid the bearish market sentiment, participants along the SBR industry chain were more cautious in operation. Producers cut operating rates in view of negative profits. Few traders stockpiled large-volume cargoes. The low run rates and traders’ low inventories, together with rising values of feedstock BD, pushed up the SBR prices during some periods, but the price rises were short-lived and small as a result of weak support from the major downstream tyre industry.

China’s apparent demand for SBR was expected to be 1.32m tonnes in 2015, down by 0.9% from 1.34m tonnes in 2014. Uncommonly, the downstream tyre market experienced a negative growth in 2015, and the vehicle market was also in trouble. Following de-stocking early in the year, domestic tyre producers suffered mounting inventories in 2015, because the US’ anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures greatly dampened China’s tyre exports.

  • With such a market change in 2015, what are we observing this year and what can we expect for 2017?
  • What are the supply and demand forecast and specific drivers for the second half of the year and in 2017?
  • What is the proportion of output between SSBR and ESBR?
  • What is the domestic market outlook which has a major influence on import market demand and prices?
  • How are the domestic producers’ margins performing and their production outlook for H2 2016 – 2017?
  • How is each demand segment performing and its corresponding SBR/PBR consumption outlook for H2 2016 - 2017?
  • What are the seasonal trends for each downstream demand segment?
  • Which is the optimal downstream segment to target and sales timing that can support better sale prices?

Gain access to all the answer and more with the China SBR Annual Study


About ICIS

ICIS is the world's largest petrochemical market information provider and has fast-growing energy and fertilizer divisions. Our aim is to give companies in global commodities markets a competitive advantage by delivering trusted pricing data, high-value news, analysis and independent consulting, enabling our customers to make better-informed trading and planning decisions. We have more than 30 years' experience in providing pricing information, news, analysis and consulting to buyers, sellers and analysts.

With a global staff of more than 800, ICIS has employees based in Houston, Washington, New York, London, Montpellier, Dusseldorf, Karlsruhe, Milan, Mumbai, Singapore, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Yantai, Tokyo and Perth. Some 350 of ICIS’s staff are journalists engaged in reporting market prices and news, and ICIS is fully committed to upholding the highest journalistic principles of verification, corroboration and authentication. ICIS has a compliance framework that along with its methodologies and business processes adheres to the requirements of the IOSCO PRA Principles.

ICIS is a division of Reed Business Information, part of RELX Group.

About Reed Business Information

Reed Business InformationReed Business Information provides information and online data services to business professionals worldwide. Customers have access to our high-value industry data, analytics, information and tools. Our strong global brands hold market-leading positions across a wide range of industry sectors including banking, petrochemicals and aviation where we help customers make key strategic decisions every day. RBI is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

About RELX GroupRELX Group

RELX Group plc is a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

We help scientists make new discoveries, lawyers win cases, doctors save lives, and executives forge commercial relationships with their clients. We help insurance groups offer customers lower prices by assessing risk better, and save taxpayers and consumers money by enabling governments and financial groups to detect fraud.

China Rubber Annual Studies

The ICIS China SBR and PBR Annual Studies provide exclusive insights into the country’s rapidly evolving rubber markets by providing an in-depth supply and demand review and outlook for Chinese rubber. Invest in the China Annual Studies to make better-informed commercial and business decisions, as well as robust risk strategies.

Each study provides you with valuable data and intelligence on:

  • A comprehensive review of China’s SBR and PBR market in 2016
  • Analyses of current supply/demand, with a one-year forecast
  • Pricing data and margins, as well as the drivers
  • Commentary on the long-term impact of China’s rubber markets on international players
  • Insights into the driving factors for 2017 – feedstock, imports/exports and so much more

Enquire about the annual studies